Curry: 12-hour arrestee probable cause rule unrealistic

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Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told judges Tuesday that a proposed rule requiring a probable cause determination within 12 hours of an arrest in major felony cases would “set up the criminal justice system to fail in many instances.”

The proposed rule change recommended by Indianapolis criminal court judges is on hold for now.

Noting this past weekend’s multiple shooting in Broad Ripple and the slaying of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Perry Renn, Curry said investigations of such matters shouldn’t be compromised by standards that would burden already strained law-enforcement resources.

“We just feel as a practical matter a 12-hour limit is unrealistic,” Curry told judges of the Marion Superior Executive Committee. “You only have to look back to the events of this past weekend.”

Marion Superior criminal judges have endorsed a 12-hour rule on the advice of counsel, and the committee called on Curry to explain his office’s opposition.

While the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld detention up to 48 hours before a probable cause determination, Marion Superior judges have been advised that detention of a suspect for more than 12 hours could give rise to a civil-rights case, because judges here are available 22 hours a day, seven days a week to make probable cause determinations at the Arrestee Processing Center.

Marion Superior Criminal Term chairwoman Judge Lisa Borges said there was misunderstanding about what judges were seeking. Rather than a full probable cause determination, she said judges want to make sure people weren’t being detained without explanation.

“There has to be a reason for locking them up. That’s what we’re looking for,” Borges said, noting a simple statement from the arresting officer in most cases would suffice. “All we need is a statement of reason for the arrest.”

Borges said those determinations are routinely made within 12 hours for people suspected of minor offenses such as public intoxication, but not in major crimes cases.

Curry disagreed that it was constitutionally necessary to determine probable cause sooner than 48 hours, and he said imposing a 12-hour rule would jeopardize sensitive and complex investigations, particularly in major crimes. “One size just does not fit all,” he said.

Judge James Osborn said the courts shouldn’t rush to effectuate a rule that could cause trouble for investigating officers and prosecutors. He and other judges suggested a 24-hour rule might be more workable.

“My only concern is, are we being too aggressive?” Osborne said. He cautioned that if the judges adopted a 12-hour rule, “We are basically defining our own liability.”

After lengthy discussion Tuesday, the committee tabled the proposal. Chairman Judge David Certo said he would draft a proposal in consultation with Curry and the criminal court judges to present to the committee later.



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  1. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  2. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  3. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  4. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  5. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well